The Vanished Settlers of Greenland

In Search of a Legend and Its Legacy

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Pub Date 30 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 14 Aug 2023

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Description

For four hundred years, Norse settlers battled to make southern Greenland a new, sustainable home. They strove against gales and winter cold, food shortages and in the end a shifting climate. The remnants they left behind speak of their determination to wrest an existence at the foot of this vast, icy and challenging wilderness. Yet finally, seemingly suddenly, they vanished; and their mysterious disappearance in the fifteenth century has posed a riddle to scholars ever since. What happened to the lost Viking colonists? For centuries people assumed their descendants could still be living, so expeditions went to find them: to no avail. Robert Rix tells the gripping story of the missing pioneers, placing their poignant history in the context of cultural discourse and imperial politics. Ranging across fiction, poetry, navigation, reception and tales of exploration, he expertly delves into one of the most contested questions in the annals of colonization.

For four hundred years, Norse settlers battled to make southern Greenland a new, sustainable home. They strove against gales and winter cold, food shortages and in the end a shifting climate. The...


Advance Praise

‘The Vanished Settlers of Greenland embeds speculation about the fate – or survival – of the Norse medieval Greenlandic colony in a series of historical contexts, demonstrating the long and deep roots of the European imaginative fascination with the Arctic and its peoples. Moving adeptly between political and cultural history, ethnography, literary criticism and post-colonial critique, Rix's study is indispensable to understanding Greenland's colonial past – and its changing present.' Carolyne Larrington, University of Oxford


‘This remarkable book is a detailed account of European misconceptions, legends and dreams about Greenland as a sort of Arctic Eldorado, where the supposed survival of a colony of Scandinavian settlers cut off from civilisation for centuries seemed to offer explorers the chance literally to ‘meet the ancestors'. But in the end, as Robert Rix's impressive scholarship demonstrates, it is a story of empire, racism and greed.' Heather O'Donoghue, University of Oxford

‘The Vanished Settlers of Greenland embeds speculation about the fate – or survival – of the Norse medieval Greenlandic colony in a series of historical contexts, demonstrating the long and deep...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781009359474
PRICE $39.99 (USD)
PAGES 217

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